Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet


by - Senior Writer -
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First look at Clemson elite recruit Mackensie Alexander. (TigerNet Staff)

CLEMSON – The rumors that have been floating around for years looked like they finally came true Friday afternoon during Clemson’s initial practice of the 2013 season – the Tigers were wearing white helmets.

Closer inspection, however, revealed that the players were wearing Guardian Caps, a soft shell helmet cover that is designed to reduce head injuries. The caps will be worn during practice for the foreseeable future, and are waterproof and also heat resistant, so they help reduce injuries related to the heat.

While the caps were ungainly and clumsy looking, there was nothing ungainly or clumsy about Clemson’s group of freshmen. In fact, the first time I saw wide receiver Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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in his No. 7 jersey, my first thought was that Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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had switched numbers. Williams looks like he has been in the program for two years or more and he looks physically ready to earn early playing time.

Other notes from the first part of the practice:

*Another receiver that had the “wow” factor was freshman T.J. GreenT.J. Green
Fr. Athlete
#82 6-2, 189
Sylacauga, AL

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, who ran routes and fielded punts during a special teams drill. It’s easy to see that Green is raw when it comes to the nuances of the game, but his natural athletic ability pops out at you.

Wide receivers coach Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Asst. Coach (WR) / Recruiting Coord.
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was in Green’s hip pocket during much of the first three periods, and was giving the freshman pointers on how to field punts and use a “more stable base” instead of running and catching the ball at the same time.

*Speaking of special teams – punter Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
So. Punter
#92 6-5, 230
Concord, NC

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was booming kicks during the early part of the session. He had two punts at one point that went over 60 yards each, and he looks smoother and more consistent with his drop. It’s easy to tell he has put in a lot of work.

*Also on special teams – redshirt freshman Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
Charlotte, NC

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looks like he could be the answer at punt return. Admit it – there were times over the last two seasons when both DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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Hopkins and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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scared you with the way they handled punts. Hopper looks smooth and has great hands. And, if it’s possible, he looks like he has a faster first step than Sammy.

Watkins, MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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, Adrien Dunn and Daniel RodriguezDaniel Rodriguez
RS So. Wide Receiver
#83 5-8, 175
Stafford, VA

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all worked out with the punt return group.

*Defensive tackle Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
Wilmington, DE

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looks leaner and stronger than he did during the spring. I’ve been told that Watson might be the strongest player on the defense, that he and Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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are neck and neck in that regard.

*Freshman running back Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
Elberton, GA

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has the dreads and wears No. 23 and looks a little bit like former running back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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out on the field. However, he looks thicker and stronger than Ellington. Can’t wait to see him in action.

*Defensive end Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Jr. Defensive End
#9 6-3, 270
Jacksonville, FL

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looks like he is in the best shape I’ve ever seen him. He looked quick off the snap.

*Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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also looks the part of a dominant player, and I’m told he would be in even better shape if he hadn’t had four wisdom teeth taken out recently.

*Kicker Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS So. Kicker
#36 5-10, 185
Alpharetta, GA

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, who left the team during the spring to deal with a family issue, was back with the team Friday afternoon and took part in all the drills. He was working with the second team field goal unit.

*Offensive lineman Spencer RegionSpencer Region
RS So. Offensive Guard
#74 64, 350
Cullman, AL

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wasn’t dressed out. He had hip surgery in April.


*Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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was very vocal with the younger receivers during drills, telling the freshman how to run their routes and teaching little things here and there. If Peake takes that next step, watch out.

*Quarterback Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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, who had surgery to repair his torn ACL following spring practice, took part in some of the drills Friday. He was, of course, limited, and during lateral movement warm-ups, he looked like a player who is just a few months removed from surgery.

However, he looked like he was moving really well during other drills, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a return this season.

*Could former linebacker Lateek TownsendLateek Townsend
Linebacker
#20 6-2, 215
Bennettsville, SC

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be back with the team? Townsend left school after spring practice, but I’m hearing he could be back with the team this fall. He wasn’t at Friday’s practice – I am told to watch out for the start of school. I was told he had a lot of things he had to do in order to make his way back, and those items haven’t been completed. We will know more about his situation later, but right now it looks 50-50 on whether he will be back.

*2015 quarterback Chason Virgil of Mesquite (TX) West Mesquite was at Friday's practice, along with older brother and West Mesquite assistant coach Chazz Virgil.

Virgil told TigerNet before the practice that the pair drove 15 hours, and that he wanted to see the campus and get to know offensive coordinator Chad Morris a little better.

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Subject (Replies: 21) Author
Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
TigerNet News
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
jerseytiger1980
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
Tigerbalm1®
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
Dugatiger®
That's really disrespectful to the...
ClemsonTiger1988®
Will there be a photo gallery coming at some point?***
Davidmj444®
Re: Will there be a photo gallery coming at some point?***
Tigerbalm1®
Well, some of y'all wanted a white helmet...
francismariontiger®
This write up has me fired up, Thanks!***
ColaTownTiger
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
TigerMarine78®
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
lhaselden
Not everyone's mind is as small as yours.***
tigahfan
Re: Not everyone's mind is as small as yours.***
TigerMarine78®
Re: Not everyone's mind is as small as yours.***
TigerMarine78®
Re: Not everyone's mind is as small as yours.***
lhaselden
Re: Not everyone's mind is as small as yours.***
ancientorange
Re: Front Page Story: Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet
Dugatiger®
I am sure same was said when face masks were added.***
TigerTown
I hope every team is wearing these things.......
Iwantthe80sback
It's embarrassing that we care about our players.***
tigahfan
Read the post. Make tham orange. Nuf said***
Iwantthe80sback
them***
Iwantthe80sback

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